"Others noticed a difference in my son!  Chicago Tribune May 2016

"Because of PAK, I will never go Back to who I was."Chicago Tribune May 2016

"Once she started PAK, she began to request exercise!" Evergreen Park Paper June 2016

"Nothing had made a difference before PAK." Chicago Daily Herald January 2013




Xavier – Lost 6.2 lbs at PAK
Xavier was quiet and shy. Concerned, his parents consulted his pediatrician. It was determined that Xavier needed more group interaction, activity and to be surrounded by children who struggled with similar issues.

Xavier was referred to PAK by his pediatrician who believed the program would help him meet children struggling with weight and social situations, as well as learn new exercises and healthy eating habits. What Xavier actually experienced once he went through the PAK was so much more.

In his first few weeks at PAK, Xavier resisted attending the sessions but stuck with it due to the strong support he was receiving from his family. Xavier attended regularly and his entire family participated in the Friday sessions. He remained fairly quiet and gently participated in the exercises, group discussions and nutritional sessions.

However, after just a few weeks, Xavier started to change – in many ways. He was more excited to go to PAK, he was beginning to exercise on his own, and read food labels. He really liked that his whole family came on Fridays and it was something they did together. But something else was happening that was very noticeable to not only his parents, but also his teachers and the staff at PAK… he was becoming more confident, more engaging in the sessions, and more outgoing in other social situations. A life-changing transformation was starting to take hold.

To maintain the momentum of his progress, his parents signed him up for another PAK session, a true commitment of time, active participation, and ongoing dedication to providing a healthier lifestyle for Xavier. He was also enrolled in soccer, baseball, and tae kwon doe. Xavier continued to thrive at PAK and brought home many of the new lessons, games and exercises he was learning.

Today, Xavier and his family continue to practice portion control, as well as self-control. They say one of the most valuable things they learned at PAK is reading labels and understanding the ingredients and nutrients in their food. They now choose healthy food opposed to junk food.


Desiree – Changed her Overall Lifestyle
Edward Hospital ProActive Kids Location – 2013

We were told about ProActive Kids  through our pediatrician.  I was surprised to find out both girls had high cholesterol and one of them was considered to be increasing in her weight and BMI.  I had always had a feeling that Desiree was slowly gaining weight but of course was in slight denial – - telling myself we will be out and about this summer  – - she’ll lose the weight.  The cholesterol results were the wake up call.  I knew something had to be done consistently.  I felt a failure as a mom (especially being a mom that is a nurse!!).  The pediatrician’s nurse gave us an order with a couple of options for weight loss.  PAK was one of them.  Most appealing at the time was of course the cost (FREE).  I just cannot afford a gym membership and nutrition counseling for the twins.

When I first read the guidelines of PAK, I liked that my daughter would be by herself at the program for a portion of the week (I felt she needed to have other people tell her what I was trying to teach her at home – - that way mom wasn’t the only one with the same old sermon – - other people thought the way mom thought) and then at the end of the week the parent involvement.  I have come to learn how crucial parent involvement is.  You can talk and discuss all you want to your child about weight loss and healthy eating, but if the parent is not putting an effort to take care of themselves and be the example, all falls on deaf ears.

I really didn’t know what to expect in the beginning, I just knew I wanted Desiree to change the way she was eating and start becoming more active.

As the program progressed, the change in my child was truly very amazing.  She looked forward to the classes and never complained.  I saw her more active and starting to show knowledge of what she was learning in her nutrition class.

We really didn’t see big results until the end of the program.  Desiree was slowly losing a little weight but it was consistent.  She started making better nutritional choices.  She learned to review nutrition labels to the point that she wouldn’t even approach me to ask if I would purchase a certain food item because she knew what we were looking for as a good choice.

It was funny at times to watch her from the corner of my eye.  As she walked towards me at the grocery store, she’d be reading a label, then suddenly I’d see her shoulders slump and she’d turn around and place the item back on the shelf.

The biggest change was her self-confidence.  It brought me to tears one day when she put on a t-shirt that had fit her fairly tight on previous occasions.  She was very happy to see herself in the mirror and be comfortable once again in the shirt.  Around the same time, she approached me after school one day and stated, “Mom I think God spoke to me today.  I never used to feel pretty, but today I found out that a boy in my class likes me.  I believe that was God’s way of telling me I am pretty.”  Of course I took the opportunity to reinforce all the PAK guidelines of how taking care of yourself through nutrition and physical fitness helps us be confident of ourselves.

It was tough but we did it.  We lapse here and there but overall, I remind the girls it is not that they can NEVER have ice cream or McDonalds or junk food in the house again.  It just needs to be very few and far between.  We use to do “Fat Fun Fridays” every other Friday before PAK.  On those days I pretty much allowed junk food in the house.  We’d buy chips, juice, candy, and rent a movie.  We stopped doing that all together.  They have not asked for it since Desiree started PAK and I never brought it up.

One of the biggest takeaways from PAK is we learned how much sugar is in everything!  AAHHHH!! It is amazing the items that have sugar in it.  The first couple of weeks that Desiree was in PAK I pretty much cleaned out the frig and pantry.  Daisy still has a hard time “finding” something to eat but when there is only fruit and vegetables you either end up eating what’s available or realize you weren’t that hungry.  Either way we win, no extra unnecessary calories consumed.  It has been hard this summer though as we are on the road and at times skip lunch (not good).  I have broken down and bought kashi granola bars and cheez its to have for on the go.  I do also have apples and peanut butter but it’s just so easy to grab and go with the granola bars.

Desiree enjoyed the exercise portion the most, which is really good because before PAK she was a bit on the lazy side to do any type of physical activity.

We practice PAK lessons a lot in our home.  I do have to reiterate facts learned in PAK at times but overall we remain in the right direction.  If we do have a fattening treat, it will be after a long day of hard physical work and good eating choices.  While eating I will go over why we are able to have the treat. I will remind them of the hard physical work they did and what they ate for that day that allowed for them to enjoy the treat.

The girls were motivated enough to try other activities offered by PAK and in school such as a running club.  Desiree hopes to join the softball team this coming year and Daisy track.

Outcomes were more that what I expected!!  It was a great experience for the whole family.  We have the tools we need to control our health.  It is all on us now.  If weight gain starts again, it is not because the PAK program failed us, it’s because we just decided not to follow what we truly already know.

Desiree states she “learned how to eat”.  She really got into how to read the nutrition labels.  Her favorite were the days exercise class was held outdoors.

We are still working on making good choices when they are not with me.  Grandma loves to spoil them, but I hope they will start choosing correctly for themselves one day and not just because mom is around.  They did choose Potbelly’s over McDonalds while they were with their father one day!!  There is hope!!!


Jumma – Took on Fitness To Get to A Healthy Weight
Advocate Children’s Hospital ProActive Kids Location – 2013

Jumaa found out about ProActive Kids when his mother saw a flyer in her doctor’s office at Hinsdale Hospital.  They were not looking for a formal program, but had tried personal efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle. They discussed the program together and chose to enroll him.

Jumaa was first inspired by the coaches at PAK – he and his mom could not believe how nice they were!!! That helped them to continue to come back Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 8 weeks (as well as sign up for a second session).  Jumaa also enjoyed being with the other kids and quickly stood out as a leader and example.

With help from the PAK Coache, they set a goal for Jumaa for the 8-week program. Those chose to strive to lose 10 pounds and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

In the first week, they started practicing PAK lessons at home.

In just a short time, Jumaa felt like he was gaining confidence and a better stamina in his fitness. Three weeks into the program, Jumaa started to lose 1.5 pounds a week!!

Jumaa’s mom told PAK, “the professional staff were very inspiring and motivational. My child’s favorite part of PAK was the outdoor exercises.

Now, we are more health conscious and make better decisions on nutrition.  My son has also shown interest in running. He participated in his first 1K race as a result of working with his PAK coach! He also wants to join a gym. (It is unfortunate that more fitness centers don’t have special classes for kids).”

If I could tell you our biggest learning lesson and recipe for success in this weight loos battle, it would be, “To monitor your portion size.”

Jumaa weighed in at the beginning of week 8. He lost 12.6 lbs in the seven weeks!!! He participated in his first organized run. He found motivation to find his healthy weight (of which he is consulting with his doctor) and get active!

He will join PAK again in the Fall of 2013.

Jumaa’s PAK Coach, Brad Laroque, Speaks about his PROGESS

Jumaa is a young man who strives to get healthy and be healthy. He knows what he has to do to become healthy and he does it!!

Here are some reasons why he was so successful in PAK and working his way to a healthier lifestyle.

He is determined, when he showed up to PAK he never wasted any time.
He got right to work on logging in as many steps on his pedometer as he could before class by running the halls or doing the stairs.
His determination and drive for his health also showed when he ran the Run The Ridge 5k on June 1st in Burr Ridge. It was his first ever race and he did great!
During class, Jumaa is very focused and keeps to himself to get the most out of his workout as possible.
Jumaa was never afraid to ask questions, he always asked me what he can do at home to become more fit or if he was doing the exercise correctly.

To be successful in PAK each participant needs to give it their best at PAK and at home. 85% of success in PAK is at home, the family needs to be heavily involved for the child to be successful.

Jumaa’s family was very involved in Jumaa and his PAK program ,which is why he lost 12.6 lbs! Jumaa is excited to lose his excees weight, he loves it and has found a love for being active! You have to love something to be into it and have success in it. Jumaa and his family are role models for all PAK participants, their families and kids all over the world who struggle with unhealthy weight. Even though our PAK session is over, he is still losing weight. Now he is under 160 lbs – he started at 173.6!!!